Mayday Call During Exercise Oxide 2015

Handling major maritime incidents was the focus of activities of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) in Cape Town and the Maritime Rescue Sub-Regional Centre (MRSC) conducted on September 21-22 during Exercise Oxide.

The Search and Rescue exercise took place off the coast of Richards Bay.

A combined Maritime Task Force (SAS PROTEA, SAS ISAAC DYOBHA and FNS FLOREAL with other South African maritime agencies) involved in the Search and Rescue Exercise sailed to simulate a search for the SMIT AMANDLA which simulated a passenger liner in distress.

The “Mayday” distress call came after the SMIT AMANDLA was attacked by “pirates”. Explosions near the engine room resulted in injuries and a damaged passenger liner. A C47TP Dakota Maritime Surveillance Aircraft conducted a search mission to locate the ship while forces ashore and at sea intercepted messages from the aircraft to narrow down the search area.

The French Special Forces and SA Navy Maritime Reaction Squadron conducted a search, board and seizure of the pirates on board the SMIT AMANDLA.

SA LILIAN NGOYI, together with smaller sea boats from the National Sea Rescue Institute, circled the SMIT AMANDLA while the South African and French vessels launched their sea boats with Operational Emergency Care Personnel to rescue survivors and treat casualties. Ashore, the military medical unit, together with the Disaster Management Team, received survivors from the vessels for further treatment.

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Image: SA Navy